Those of you following my Twitter feed might have read how I managed to go an entire content patch without ever getting tier 12 shoulders for the main spec of my main class. So when I heard that Blizzard's amazing idea for getting people tier gear more quickly was too entirely remove tier from valor point vendors, the part of me that saw something like two or three protector shoulder tokens drop in five months of raiding was very skeptical.
That said, there are already people running around Orgrimmar with full sets of tier gear. Between weekly Raid Finder and a weekly run of Dragon Soul, you have four to six chances to see your token drop, with even higher chances for gloves and legs due to Baradin Hold. This is really good news for elemental, because our newly lackluster tier 12 needs to be replaced as soon as possible with the very shiny Spiritwalker's Regalia. The bad news? Everything you knew about elemental gearing in Firelands is gone, just like your permanent Fire Elemental Totem.
Those of you who played elemental at the start of Cataclysm may remember a time when mastery was as good as haste and balancing the two stats was ideal. With Firelands, mastery fell by the wayside. It was still a good stat, but it couldn't compete with haste. Now that 4.3 has hit, we're starting to see mastery coming back into the limelight. It's like the Neil Patrick Harris of elemental stats -- starts off strong, fades into the background for 10 years (or five months), and comes back to outshine everything around it.